15 November, 2018

Blog

A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The election victory of the common opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, can be characterized as a victory for democracy in its broadest meaning of the term. However, the specificities of the future processes of democracy or good governance are still to be worked out, not to speak of reconciliation for the moment. Not that I am considering reconciliation as secondary, but it should go hand in hand with democracy and good governance. If we get the house in order, we might be able to live like a family.

If not for that victory of Maithriplala Sirisena, who is already our President, the already fragile Sri Lanka’s democracy could have deteriorated into a one-party dominant state with a mixture of family oligarchy, corrupt bureaucracy and ethnocratic majoritarianism. Major elements of the equation were already there by the time of the elections. That is why a decisive change was necessary. There is no need to say that Sri Lanka has a mammoth military of over 200,000 to back all these evils, if need be. The expansion and strengthening of the military were not only a product of the war, but also the post-war politics moving steadily away from the norms of democracy.

Just because the defeated president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was compelled to leave the office peacefully when the results became clear, it should not be taken as an indication of his commitment to democracy or people’s verdict. Equally fallacious is the notion that everything is now hunky-dory. It is said that although the outgoing president attempted to tempt the military, the police and the legal department to support him in cancelling the election results, they were not amenable to the suggestion as good Samaritans of democracy.

Cabinet ministersIt is true that the Election Commissioner was quite courageous at the last stages. So much so he even threatened to ‘shoot on the head’ if anyone breaks the law or make mischief on the Election Day. The military or the police spokespersons were much more sober. One may argue that the Election Commissioner was correct because that is the language that the people or the miscreants know. If that is the case, then it speaks very poorly on the notions of rule of law or democracy that the country at present entertains.

This is the same kind of democracy that the last president Rajapaksa was advocating. After the war, he wanted to solve the minority problem in the country by declaring that ‘there is no minorities’ in Sri Lanka. There are only ‘patriots and traitors,’ he said. He also gave quite a ‘post-modernist’ interpretation to good governance saying that what is good in governance is what produces results. Therefore, it is not that he was not committed to democracy or good governance as such, but his commitment was entirely different to the known principles. According to which there is nothing wrong if someone makes even a 30 percent commission of a contract, if the project is completed on time successfully.

He even was committed to elections. He always wanted to call elections before the scheduled time including the last presidential elections. He perhaps genuinely believed that there is nothing wrong in using the state resources or breaking the election laws because he knows what is best for the people. After all he was the leader who liberated the people from brutal terrorism. Therefore, he has a ‘divine right’ to do so. Not only had he believed that he has some superhuman qualities but some people did the same. Even a defected MP wrote to him saying that ‘your excellency is only next to God.’

After all he obtained 5.7 million votes at the elections. Some of them are extremist sections of the Southern constituencies. As Alexis de Tocqueville said about the French revolution in his “Old Regime and the Revolution” (1856), ‘there are some rivers burying themselves in the earth and rise again to the surface later.’ Old regimes are like that. The corrupt ones are more so to the rule of surfacing, unless firm actions are aken.

However, Mahinda Rajapaksa is bouncing back already. He has addressed his supporters in Tangalle, bracing his fists in agitation. Then he came to the SLFP headquarters in Colombo. He is planning to visit all the districts that he has won. This is in contrast to the demeanor of the President elect, Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the nation in Kandy on the same day. President was saying that ‘the country needs not a King but a true human being.’ He is true to his name, ‘Maithri’ – the compassionate.

However, there are contradictions emerging. The first outburst came from the actor-politician, Ranjan Ramanayake, who openly criticized, both the President and the Prime Minister, that they were too diplomatic towards the ousted President. Ramanayake, contradicted the claim that the outgoing president gracefully stepped down claiming that there was an attempted coup.

This line of thinking or claim became more prominent when Mangala Samaraweera, the foreign minister to be, gave a press briefing on the subject. The claim was unequivocal. The story has now become international. The “Sydney Morning Herald” also gave prominence to this story today (12 January 2015). Samaraweera has said “people think it was a peaceful transition. It was anything but.” More serious was his statement that “The first thing the new cabinet will investigate is the coup and conspiracy by president Rajapaksa…He stepped down only when the army chief and the police inspector general refused to go along with him.”

This is undoubtedly a serious statement although it is not the cabinet which should investigate the coup! If there is credible evidence, the investigations should start forthwith. The former president’s past immunity does not apply here. However, the country should not get the impression that the ‘new order’ is not different to the ‘old regime.’

When General Sarath Fonseka lost the presidential elections in 2010 he was arrested and prosecuted on various charges. It was utter vengeance. He was not in power other than being the army commander during the war against the LTTE. However, Rajapaksa is not like that. As I have characterized his regime, here and in many previous articles, he is undoubtedly implicated in so many deviations or atrocities. It is not only him but so many people of his cabinet and in the administration must have been involved in those violations or atrocities. Some must have already crossed over to the winning side now. Corruption was one of the main concerns of the people at the elections. However the investigations should be conducted in a procedural and not an arbitrary manner. The due process should be followed.

When a major political transition takes place in a country all cannot go in an ideal manner at least at the beginning. There is a permissible margin for realpolitik. However, it should not be ‘dirty politics’ like under the old regime. Samaraweera’s statement can be a warning or even a threat. Otherwise, an open statement is not very prudent without apprehending the perpetrators, if there were a serious threat of a coup. On the other hand if the ‘coup attempt’ was limited to an indirect sounding of opinion or possibilities, then it would be difficult to pin down the charges. Then it is quite reasonable or natural for Samaraweera to use the story to warn the people that Rajapaksa is not that innocent on the matter of transition.

There are other and more serious concerns in respect of power balance in the country. When the former president called for elections two years before the schedule, on 20 November, there were 158 members for the ruling UPFA or the government. Now it has dwindled to 125 or so. No one knows the numbers correctly unless a voting takes place in Parliament. For the sake of numbers, there is no point in taking defectors to the camp of Sirisena. Some of our politicians are completely unreliable, schooled particularly in Rajapaksa family politics. During the election campaign, there was a young local government politician who came for an opposition press briefing and then pledged his continued allegiance to the president. These things can happen even from ‘senior politicians’ who are not sure whether they are coming or going.

The most bizarre thing happened on Sunday, when a group of SLFP politicians defected to the Sirisena/UNP camp, or I must say President’s camp. There were very senior and even respectable politicians among them. They were however a handful in numbers. They said that the central committee of the SLFP has decided by majority vote to appoint the elected President, Mr. Sirisena, as the Chairman of the SLFP, implying that Mahinda Rajapaksa is no longer the Chairman. They cited the party’s constitution in support of the decision.

This declaration of adventure if backed by the President himself, not only contradicts his pledge to the nation at the most sacred place of Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, inviting all parties to join in for a national government but also beyond the reality of truth. The invitation, if I had understood correctly, was for the existing SLFP or the UPFA to join in for a national government. If the ‘Democrats’ capture power in the SLFP in the future, that is well and good for democracy. However, that is not the case at present. Capturing or winning over power cannot be done through a press conference. There are so much of hard work to do as Maihripala Sirisena has already initiated. I also like to call the defected faction, the SLFP (Democrats), if they are really committed to democracy.

In politics, or in democratic politics, the best thing is to go by the existing realities based on simple truths. The President has now formed a new Cabinet with 27 Ministers. It is a cohesive body which can govern the country for the promised 100 days. The President is still within the schedule of his Diary. There are 10 other State Ministers and 8 Deputy Ministers. It is still not a “National Government,” but can go towards that objective, later than sooner.

The new government does not need to bother much about the numbers in Parliament until that matter arises. If that matter arises, then the country can go for a new parliamentary election. We are still working under the existing constitutional framework which is an executive presidential system. If the new government tries to troop up the necessary numbers artificially in Parliament, then all the scums and crooks will soon be with them. Some are already there. It is better to be cautious than being unduly optimistic.

Let me wish well for the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, as one who consistently campaigned for a democratic change in our beloved country of origin for the last three years.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Yes prof I totally agree with you. Alleged criminals such as Richard shouldn’t be in the cabinet until the alleged crime is investigated. Also Karuna and Dougie are waiting to join in. They should be tried for their past crimes which I have seen with my own eyes.

    It’s sad that TNA was not part of the cabinet. There are some intelligent characters like Simanthiran who should have taken/given a position in the cabinet.

  • 1
    6

    Hello Professor’e’

    I think the Sri Lankan people will soon begin to thank you and your corterie of “13 influential Austrlian Sri lankan professionals” played in toppling the Rajapakse government.

    Don’t worry about the hundreds of thousands of professional Australian Sri Lankans not caring ‘two hoots’ about your 13.

    Fools live in their own paradises!

    • 5
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      Email

      Have you ever seen Dr. Laksiri Fernando in your house? Oh that must have been HLD Mahindapala or your own shadow.

    • 5
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      Hello Email!

      You still appears to be in ‘fool’s paradise.’ You will get the next shock at the next parliamentary elections.

      Your misplaced comment about ‘SL professionals in Australia’ only show your big ego. We never intended to undermine others including you in our statement that you refer to. It was never mentioned in my present article. Perhaps you were incapable of focusing on the contents of the article.

      • 2
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        Dear Dr. Fernando,

        your valauble articles prior to election made it very clear that a change should be a must. That helped all of us right thinking dignified people of mother lanka no doubt about that. Unlike country most known DEPITA KATTUWA Dayan Jayathilaka – Dayan Silva seem to have nothing to utter as of now in terms of the defeat of MR. We thank you so much and wish you all the best for you.

    • 4
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      Email

      Dr Laksiri Fernando writes:

      “Your misplaced comment about ‘SL professionals in Australia’ only show your big ego.”

      I assure you that he is wrong.

      It only shows your small willy or confirms that you have been suffering from “pen** envy”.

      First you must learn that size does not matter.

      • 0
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 3
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          Email

          Thanks for your brilliant riposte

  • 1
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    “Just because the defeated president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was compelled to leave the office peacefully when the results became clear, it should not be taken as an indication of his commitment to democracy or people’s verdict. Equally fallacious is the notion that everything is now hunky-dory. It is said that although the outgoing president attempted to tempt the military, the police and the legal department to support him in cancelling the election results, they were not amenable to the suggestion as good Samaritans of democracy.”

    Thanks.

    450,000 voters more did not want the Mahinda Rajapaksa Dictatorship, despite a short disturbed Opposition.

    If the facts were known to the common man in Sinhala and Tamil, with free media and undisturbed opposition rallie and opposition cut outs, Maitripala Sirisena would have got 75% of the popular vote.

    So, All the Sri Lanka writers use this time to educate the masses on the Mara Family dictatorship and governance and expose the correct situation.

    So, Amarasiri need to ask you again, Dr. Laksiri Fernando., would you be the Author Common Sense Phamplet, Sri Lanka 2016? You need not worry about the killers Medamulana MaRa, Gota or White Vans, for the time being, Dr. Laksiri Fernando.

    Mr. Maitripala Sirisena stepped up to the plate as the Comm(Sense) Candidate and Won. He Also produced his Common (Sense) Election Manifesto in record time.

    “Had social media not played its part, many Sri Lankans would have been in the dark even about the oppositions’ manifesto. Yet, the reach of social media in Sri Lanka is limited. Voting patterns in this past election is clear. Where internet is freely available, for the most part, voters supported President Sirisena.”

    What can do you then?

    Gam Peraliya? Already done

    Rata Peraliya?

    MaRa Peraliya? To be done

    Common Sense Phamplet, Sri Lanka? To be done. Mara Dictatorship has pvovided you with ample materials..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

    Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places.

    Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2] As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title.[3]

    Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[6]

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      Mr Amarasiri,

      With all respect to your repeated requests to many people on writing a Common Sense Pamphlet, I think it is already being done by many of them in different forms. This is not Thom Paine’s 18th century. Social media, electronic newspapers like Colombo Telegraph and popular tabloids in vernacular (Ravaya, Idiriya etc) have replaced the need for a single pamphlet. I also do my best keeping in mind to appeal to people’s common sense. Also Maithripala Sirisena Manifesto and the Diary are good enough documents for the people.

      Will I be too rash to suggest you to focus on something else now?

      • 1
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        Dr Laksiri Fernando

        “Will I be too rash to suggest you to focus on something else now?”

        Yes. Why?

        http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

        Despite Social media, electronic newspapers like Colombo Telegraph and popular tabloids in vernacular (Ravaya, Idiriya etc) have replaced the need for a single pamphlet, STILL about 55% of the Sinhala Buddhists Voted for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the Medamulana Dictatorship and Family Dynasty.

        The ordinary person has no access tp or the time to get on-line. They are busy making a living.

        All these are complementary, and the net effect was that Rajapaksa lost 10% compared to Sarath Fonseka, 65% to 55%,

        Amarasiri’s expectations were it should have gone down from 65% to 35%.

        Another point that need to be pointed out is that The Common Sense Phamplet, like the Constitution will not go stale and can be used for many years like a book. A Shot 47 page book, like the shot Common Candidate Manifesto is readable, and does not age.

        I Would like to point out that the fact that the Earth Moves around the Sun and rotates on its axis, promoted by Nicklaus Copernicus *1543), Galileo, Kepler,Newton and experimentally proven by Foucault, being proven and many space voyages since then, STILL 25% of the Americans and Europeans and About 40% of the Asians believe the Sun goes around the Earth.
        This includes most of the 55% Sinhala Buddhists and 20 toi 30% Minorities who voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa.

        A Common Sense Phamplet will likely change the Opinion of this group towers Mahimnda Rajapaksa several percentage points. Strike while the iron is hot.

        1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says
        FEBRUARY 14, 2014 5:55 PM ET

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

        A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

        The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

        To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

        In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

        Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

        As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

        Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.

        In a survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center from various sources, Americans seemed to generally support science research and expressed the greatest interest in new medical discoveries and local school issues related to science. They were least interested in space exploration, agricultural developments and international and foreign policy issues related to science.

        http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

        • 0
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          Amarasiri@,

          This is very intering… I thought Pakistnaiees are leading among the iliterates in this world,

          but according to index given by you above

          “The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

          Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score”

          Srilanka #s numbers are far low to those of Pakistan… how come ?

          • 0
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            sama

            “This is very intering… I thought Pakistnaiees are leading among the iliterates in this world, “

            There was 1 Nobel Prize in Physics in Pakistan, Abdus Salam, before the teenager Malala in peace.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdus_Salam

            Do not know to what extent inbreeding has affected the National IQ scores.

            Inbreeding is high is Islamic Countries, and in India as well.

            Cousin marriage can reduce I.Q. a lot

            http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/07/cousin-marriage-can-reduce-i-q-a-lot/#.VLZAdyvF-4I

            Singapore 108
            South Kprea 106
            Italy 102
            Norway 100
            China100
            United States 98
            Armania 94
            Kazastan 94
            Greece92
            urkey 90
            Iraq 87
            Kuwait 86
            Pakistan and Afghanistan 84, Iran 84, Jordan 84, Saudi Arabia 84
            Bagla Desh 82
            India 62
            Sri Lanka 79
            Mozambique 64

            These are the national averages, I suppose.

            However, got Most populations, it is Multimodal. The intellectual class naturally woyld have a higher IQ than the average.

            In the US The average is 98. However, the IQ of the various ethinic groups ranges from 92 to 114 ( For East Asians)

  • 0
    4

    It is good that Rajapakse is re-establishing his ideological base. Sri Lanka needs the ideological base so the country does not become too genericized.

    There are indications the Sinhala-Buddhist higher-ups have become impatient with their brethren. With no clue of how to compromise Liberté, égalité, fraternité with country heritage ideologies, they might just decide to federalize the country in the easy way out. Therefore, Rajapaksa leader of SLFP standing firm on issues, will give a good constant reminder to new Gosl not to venture too far.

    However, we hope that Rajapakse himself will not go too far and ruin his good reputation, and the country ideology reputation. We hope he will leave the governing of the Island to Sirisena, and Ranil even ; Sirisena representing all things Rajapakse is, but with a far greater democratic twist, and Ranil- well, we had to establish US relations with a bit of free-enterprise and those sorts of things.

    • 3
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      Rajapaksa himself cannot be SLFP leader now, Once defeated he lost the ministerial posts and the seat in the Parliament. To be the leader of the Party the person has to be the member of Parliament, except for a chairperson, Rajapaksa can become Chairman of SLFP if he wants to, but not leader.

      However Rajapaksa is still attempting to enter into Parliament he is expecting to win the general election, I don’t think he could win a seat, but maybe in Hambantota district he could win if the people chooses, the problem is that he is looking forward to becoming as Executive Prime Minister by ousting Ranil Wickremesinghe, If he becomes as executive Prime Minister he will have the ultimate powers as the executive president and become greed and destroy the country again.

      • 0
        1

        Rajapaksa IS Leader of SLFP -chairman and leader being probably the same thing. He didn’t make any statement regarding becoming EPM, but even he knows that that would be far-fetched, and wouldn’t want to upset the apple-cart of Democracy too drastically……but since there is so much speculation about this possibility, he must be speculating on the possibilities…….if the coalition does not hold together, he might be invited to come back.

        Glad however,that Sirisena trepidly took his place. Now we can have a point percentage more minority rights (getting rid of BBS and a few more Tamil policemen in the North…..some Tamil policemen can come to the South also…….and more Tamil military personnel). We can appease US fear of that Chinese string of pearls. All in all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • 2
    2

    The electoral reforms are crucial to prevent jumbo cabinets and all the associated problems that follow. Even here, the number of ministries could not be curtailed to 25 has envisaged earlier.

    A single party is unable to form a govt in its own right without the help of minor parties.

    The minors always demand portfolio in exchange to help form govt. That is how govts end up with jumbo cabinets.

    There are too many minor parties. There needs to be some kind of consolidation. The major parties must create space for diverse views as a carrot. Then electoral reform must follow as the stick.

    • 1
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      Imbecile,

      I know what you have referred to as “minors”! In this context, UNP should be classed as a “minors”!

      Have you noticed that TNA neither requested any portfolios nor had any aspirations about it. Whether you like it or not, MS National Government after the next parliamentary elections, will deliver justice and good governance. This means empowering the minorities and removing the foremost place given to Buddhism in the constitution. This is the change for the Sinhala Buddhists who harp on about Good Governance!

  • 1
    0

    Where are Gotabaya, Basil and Chamal?
    Did Gota flee abroad with KP?

    “…………………….then all the scums and crooks will soon be with them. Some are already there”.
    A few maybe even in the new cabinet.

    MR is reportedly attempting a “come back” as president of SLFP to parliament to replace an MP willing to resign to accommodate him.

    Wijedasa Rajapakse is the minister who is fittest for his job – Justice.
    The new brooms should demonstrate within a hundred days that they can ‘sweep well’ in order to win the parliamentary election in April.

  • 0
    1

    Laksiri Fernando,

    Your concerns are palpable. Most politicians we have had in Sri Lanka are rogues. They are there for the money mostly and secondarily for the prestige, perks and some even simply to take revenge from those who slighted them in the past. No wonder the rogues on the other side are scrambling over each other to join up with Maithri. They will somehow make opportunities to make money and enjoy the other perks that come with their respective positions.

    Sadly sooner rather than later we will see Maithri going down similar paths to his predecessors. The rot has already begun. Take a good look at the picture in your article, tell me if there is anyone honest sitting or standing there and if anyone of them is not a rogue.

    • 0
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      BBS Rep,

      I think you are too pessimistic or excessively critical considering your last para. We need to be constructive as well. I cannot vouch for people’s honesty. It is largely a personal judgment except in the case of proven dishonesty or corruption. However, if they agree on common rules and work based on those, there can be a change under the present dispensation. If we give priority for the betterment of the country and the people, then we need to be hopeful as well. We should give them a chance and see. I am sorry, if I have given an impression of hopelessness in my critical comments.

  • 1
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

    Key is a well-informed populace and free responsible media.

    Any update on the Common Sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2015 on the Excesses of the Medamulana King?

  • 1
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    .
    I am surprised MaRa got 48%. If not for GoRa’s anti-minority stuff, MaRa would have easily won.
    :-)

    • 0
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      True, But this will be tight, because the cost of living is very high at the moment when he called the election, However he will still face the defeat maybe MR would get 49% closely.

  • 0
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    Dear Prof Laksiri ,

    “This is undoubtedly a serious statement although it is not the cabinet which should investigate the coup! If there is credible evidence, the investigations should start forthwith. The former president’s past immunity does not apply here. “

    Even if , there are enough evidence to prove that former president was attempting to have a coup in the wee hours of 9th , can he be prosecuted ? doesn’t MR enjoy the immunity as the president on 9 th of January ? Election Commissioner declared MY3’s victory in the afternoon of 9 th , until EC declares the winner’s name , technically MR was the president , right ? if you can , could you clarify the legal/technical part of the issue , thank you .

    Best Regards.

    • 0
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      Dear Srilal,

      I cannot claim to be a legal expert. However, my reading of the constitution from a constitutionalist point of view shows that there are areas where President’s the immunity does not apply. This is stated in Article 35 (3). One area specified is Article 130 (a) which says “The Supreme Court shall have the power to hear and determine and make such orders as provided by law on (a) any legal proceeding relating to election of the President or the validity of a referendum.” While one may argue that this refers to election petitions, it clearly refers to “any legal proceeding relating to election of the President.” This also means while he or she is in office.

      In criticising Sri Lanka’s presidential system, President’s immunity has always been exaggerated. As a result, people (or even the judiciary) became fearful and also believed that he/she is almost a God. It is not the case. A President has to take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and its principles. Among them is the sovereignty of the people which includes Franchise. Any attempt to subvert an election is against the oath taken and against the Constitution. Attempted coup I believe comes particularly under Sedition. I am not very familiar with ordinary law. But as far as the constitutional law is concerned, it is my view that anyone who tries to subvert an election, including a sitting president, could be prosecuted, if evidence is available.

      • 0
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        Thank you prof. Laksiri .

  • 1
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    On to a good start, already Maitri’s son (as reported) roaming in Colombo with 40 Presidential Security Division staff! Impending thuggery on an unprecedented scale the learned professor failed to mention. A looming threat to female tourists and locals alike?

    • 1
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      lal,

      I agree that if he had indeed behaved in such a manner it is completely out of order. It seems that you are privy to the incident first hand; please pass the information to the authorities. On the other hand, as a direct result of your bitterness of losing the election, if you attempt to overplay the incident, it is not good at all.

      How come that you kept absolutely numb about the MR offsprings’ antics all these days

  • 1
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    Mahinda Rajapaksa’s IMMUNITY and IMPUNITY must end after the Popes Visist. As long as Rajapaksa and his family remain un investigated and free the CULTURE OF IMPUNITY of CORRUPT POLITICIANS will reign supreme in Landka.

    Ranil should stop covering up Jarapassa’s crimes. The members of the Rajapaksa family should be held accountable for LAND GRABBING AND financial crimes, arrested and LOCKED UP.
    Mahinda Rajapaksa should be put behind bars for attempting a coup and SEDITION.

  • 1
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    Jarapassa got 5 million votes ONLY AFTER STUFFING ballot boxes. This was all along the plan but the margin of victory of the joint opposition candidate was so great that even after stuffing the ballot boxes with GHOST votes Jarapassa could not win.

    Also the number of 15.1 REGISTERED VOTERS in a population of 21 million is very high and highly suspicious. I know a lot of unregistered voters as well. So this figure of so-called “registered voters” must be investigated by academics and statisticians.

    • 0
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      Thanks Dodo,

      I do agree with your suspicions about the 15.04 million registered voters. I had the same suspicions. It is too high for a 20.26 million population. I am quoting 2012 census figures. This is around 74.2 percent. Under 14 age group itself was 24.9 percent. The eligible voting group cannot be over 68 percent. Apart from what you say as ‘stuffing,’ this is one reason why voter turnout appeared quite low particularly in the South.

  • 2
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    Sad to say that TNA is still playing stupid games instead of joining the government and pushing for reconciliation from within.

    The TNA is a huge stumbling black for Tamils and Sri lanka.

    • 1
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      I think so too. Sumanthiram would have made a good Minister.

    • 1
      1

      Krishani,

      On the contrary; TNA is right to stay away from cabinet portfolios for now. It is the least thing that they should worry about; there are far more important issues at stake. Let the MS administration to function for the first 100 days and let see what happens after general election. The Tamils must gain a form of political solution with maximum devolution; this should be part of the term Good Governance.

      Please also note that JVP did not push for any cabinet portfolio!

    • 1
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      Krishani and Paul,

      I do respect TNA’s decision not to participate in the Cabinet or the government. I do agree with Burning Issue. Perhaps TNA can participate in the Advisory Council like the JVP intends to do. More important is to keep on having a constructive dialogue. Otherwise, particularly a person like Sumanthiran would be a very useful minister to the country as Paul has suggested. This can be the future, not necessarily the present. There are so many other things to fix up through a cautious dialogue, I believe, to address the issues of the Tamils and the areas in the North.

  • 1
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

    The Political still may be precarious.

    What was really precarious was when Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the new presidential Elections, and he was trying to get a third and fourth term and then hand over his dynasty to his spoilt sons, in the Democratize Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Despite the precarious situation, the Common (sense) Candidate and their Opposition Team pulled through. The populace is indebted to them.

    What is precarious is not to inform the Populace about the corruption and excesses of the MaRa. However, there was not much media freedom and the white vans were always in the background.

    So, what is now Precarious is NOT to inform the ignorant populace about the MaRa Crimes, mismanagement and corruption. All the meia personnel, ans especially the writers need to come forward

    Have you heard about the Common sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2015. Do not worry about the white vans for the time being. Just Do It!

    Not doing it is very precarious, because the average IQ of sri Lankan is 79.

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

  • 1
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    Laksiri Fernando –

    RE: A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

    Precarious Cartoons..

    Video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6mvuiqY39Y4

  • 5
    0

    As you have pointed out the newly elected President was lenient on the issues good doctor have pointed out. But in my opinion this was done deliberately, not pressing MR on the coup attempt or letting some of the key corrupt officials to leave the country. If MS Gov made hasty arrests of GR,BR, KP, or few of the others who have left the country as a priority it could have got backfired.

    We must not forget, MR cultivated a violent and fanatical gang, If MR,BR or GR was arrested these fanatics with the help of BBS and Blue Brigade could have (Rather would have) created trouble and in a short period of time whole victory celebrations could have turned in to a chaos, murder and island wide mayhem. An attempt was made to portrait the victory is due to minority vote MARA himself said this post election in a very clear way to instigate hate.

    If MS acted in a haste it would been no different to what MARA/GR did in 2009.

    I am sure JHU/JVP and all the other civic groups will press the GOV to take appropriate actions in due course. All these corrupt elements will be brought to justice. The process is already started by JVP with plans to formally complain to Bribery Commission. We must not also forget President MS has got to deliver the 100 day program in order to change the mind set of at least part of 46% who did not vote him come parliamentary elections April. There should be no opportunity left for MARA clan to come back to power again in short term.

    Things would have been much different if MARA won the elections. We would have seen real MARA/GORA by now.

  • 0
    0

    A well thought out article. Yes, there will be lot of delicate balancing at the initial stages but the goal of totally getting rid of the crooks and the scum should not be lost sight of. It is not purely a matter of getting rid of them, it should also include prosecuting them where necessary as otherwise, the clean up will never be complete!

    Sengodan. M

  • 1
    0

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: A New Cabinet, But Political Balance Still Precarious

    Law and Order is needed. The Guilty Must be Punished. It is Precarious not to punish the guilty.

    JVP to go to Bribery Comm. against Namal, Basil and Cabraal
    January 12, 2015 06:28 pm

    http://www.adaderana.lk/news/29395/jvp-to-go-to-bribery-comm-against-namal-basil-and-cabraal

    The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today said that they have no intention of joining the national unity government, despite an invitation from President Maithripala Sirisena and other parties.

    Sirisena, in his first address to the nation in Kandy yesterday (11), invited all political parties in parliament to unite in forming the all-party government.

    “We have no intention of joining this government. By government they mean their Cabinet. The JVP is not prepared to obtain ministerial portfolios in this cabinet or intervene in this cabinet,” the Marxist party’s leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, told reporters in Colombo.

    He stated that the reason for their decision is due to the fact that they have immense experience of what a “100-day cabinet” can actually do.

    The JVP Leader further said that they will lodge complaints with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption against a large group of individuals including MP Namal Rajapaksa, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and the individuals involved in the controversial ‘hedging deal.’

  • 1
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    Professor Laksiri Fernando

    As a respected regular contributor to CT you have a duty to CT, yourself, the readers and the country, to force the promises on the basis of which we voted to be fulfilled.

    Stop wasting time and CT space by ambling and rambling. No need to go and on about what was happening before 9th January. Everyone knows.

    Talk in point form 1, 2, 3, etc about what Maithripala has to do now. By your thoughtless rambling you are helping to unfocus on urgent immediate action on matters that can’t wait.

    For example ask His Excellency when he is going to place an embargo on persons who are holding / held high positions in the Rajapaksa Administration from leaving the country. You may have seen pictures of Basil Rajapaksa arriving at Los Angeles airport in shirt and jeans. If you are not aware Basil was the Komisan Kakka par excellence. Ask in the CT forum for example whether Maithripala is going to request extradition of Basil Rajapakse from the US Government.

    I assume you have some idea as to those other crooks who need to get the priority attention of Maithripala Sirisena. Also assume you are mindful of urgent administrative matters that have to be arranged. For example strengthening the institutions that need to be removed from Executive control – Judiciary, Police, Auditor General, Prosecution Dept etc

    Don’t pontificate. Press on these matters, that require to be attended NOW. Thammama. Except for a couple of phrases, your whole Article was a waste.

    Stop wasting time and causing distraction. I know you want the best. Get off your ass and act NOW.

    Sounds disrespectful I know. But there is no intention to be. Do what you have to do. Do it NOW.

    Above words apply in equal measure to the other contributor to CT as well – those of the Dayan, Mahindapala ilk excluded.

    • 0
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      Navin,

      Of course we all (including you) have responsibility to ensure the promises given are fulfilled. As far as I am concerned, the new government is in the right direction. When you ask me to “force” even before a week is passed, it appears to me that you are a bit of ‘leftish’ type. That’s ok if you deliver your own responsibility.

      Thanks for your advice on how to write! If you are not satisfied with the way I write, you can take the baton. Why don’t you come out of the closet and contribute to the CT and the community in your own/full name without hiding any longer.

      Of course the readers like you have all rights to criticise the substance of an article. But to say what the writers should write and the way they should write is in my opinion far beyond any constructive dialogue. I am intrigued by the source of that attitude on your part, which is common to many others: ‘preach others but not practice themselves.’ Perhaps this patronising attitude comes from religious preaching style or feudal hierarchical social order, unconsciously though.

  • 1
    0

    Laksiri
    Your articles have been playing a very positive role towards the election results we had.
    AS you say political balance is still precarious. MR won’t keep quite – he’d have started preparing for the general elections now. This government’s main propoganda would be the right things it does. As the previous govt has muddled everything, including the mindset of the bureaucrats, putting things in order won’t be easy
    The President must have group of academics like you as a a shadow to keep checks and balances on all what the govt does – to critique all its steps. This group need to have an eye on all the ministries as well. The President and the Ministers must know the importance of it. This is a very god complex world where knowledge is power. The politicians need to know that and respect the views of well-informed people as in the advanced countries.
    We can see several academics with a benevolent head/heart in the pages of this website.

  • 1
    0

    Laksiri
    Academics need to see that ethnic outbidding is squashed out of Sri Lankan politics and that the Sinhala masses know their crucial part because of their number:
    ”Structural and geo-technical engineers know that when a long building is constructed especially on weak soil, it is almost mandatory to have a movement joint to separate the building into two. ………….here is probably a good case for Southerners to give their Northern counterparts greater freedom of ‘movement’. …. the Northerners need greater freedom; and the North needs a movement joint to settle differentially, while preserving national integrity.” _ Does the North of Sri Lanka need a ‘Movement Joint’? Prof Priyan Dias, 24 December 2014, Groundviews.

  • 0
    2

    Of course Professor,

    Our inhabitants finally are going to ” Live like a Family”.

    Without our women with Burqas getting abused in public buses, trains, trams, and our African and even Turban wearing brethren getting requests to go back to where they came from, and even normal looking ones are being affectionately called black C****..

    And the new PM may even pay them the Dole to keep them ” cool”…

    • 1
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Our inhabitants finally are going to ” Live like a Family”

      It is because they have once again started evolving into human being.

      No doubt your fellow Sinhala/Buddhists have reversed the evolutionary process and growing into Neanderthal.

      Please spend some time looking at a mirror you will notice the changes.

      Leave the Dalits alone.

  • 1
    0

    Laksiri
    You have much more work now than in the last three yrs as MR will be working 25 hrs a day and eight days a week to spoil the govt plan to get the country into a decent democracy.

    • 0
      0

      Thanks Punitham,

      Let’s try our best. I think we will succeed this time to a great extent. Thanks to others for their positive and encouraging comments.

  • 2
    0

    Do not know what Akila viraj’s qualifications to become the education minister. Dr Harsha de Silva , Eran wickramaratna and Ajith Perera should have got cabinet posts instead of the oldies, Joseph Michael, John Amarathunga and Gamini Jayawickrama. Arjuna should not have been given the ports and shipping ministry as he comes from a corrupt family. Remember John Amarathunga was a sucker of Mahinda Rajapaksa who went on a couple of foreign trips with MR as a member of the government delegation. Sajith, another culprit who tried to scuttle the efforts of Sobhitha Thera with the blessings of Ranil Wickramasinghe and Attanayaka should not have been included in the cabinet. Until Chandrika’s(I am not a Chandrika fan) intelligent move to get Maithipala Sirisena as the common candidate Ranil wanted to contest as a UNPer and preferred to let Mahinda win and be the opposition leader for ever. People still assume that Sajith supported Mahinda in an indirect way thus Mahinda getting the majority of votes from the deep south. It is very sad if the new president could not achieve what he promised because of such petty minded people around him. We can trust people like Karu Jayasuriya who all along supported Sobhitha Theras movement. looking at the UNP members in the list it seems Ranil is control.

    • 0
      0

      lal,

      I agree that if he had indeed behaved in such a manner it is completely out of order. It seems that you are privy to the incident first hand; please pass the information to the authorities. On the other hand, as a direct result of your bitterness of losing the election, if you attempt to overplay the incident, it is not good at all.

      How come that you kept absolutely numb about the MR offsprings’ antics all these days

      • 0
        0

        this is in a wrong place sorry.

    • 0
      0

      These are temporary appointments for 100 days with a clear warning that they should serve the people. After the proposed general elections, we will see a more meaningful cabinet that will encompass appropriate individuals I think.

  • 0
    0

    The actor-politician is not a credible entity. He resorts to backdoor tactics. He was also seen to be audaciously tapping His Excellency’s shoulder soon after the swearing in ceremony……where it appeared that His Excellency quite appropriately gave him the cold shoulder.

  • 0
    0

    So the man facing criminal charges for Exchange Control offences is in effective charge of the Central Bank which is in charge of Exchange Control.

    Interim Governor of Central Bank is a Director of Sumals Access Company

    How many foxes does one need to guard the chicken coop

    Good governance my foot

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